Friday, October 12, 2012

Observations & questions

I read all the time about how the population is getting fatter and how obesity is becoming epidemic in many first world countries.  But I don't see it much in my every day life.  I'd consider myself a little overweight, but certainly not obese or even fat.  Comfortably plump, maybe?  A little rotund?  Well padded?  Curvy?

Yesterday I took the kids to the water slides, and I was horrified at the number of genuinely fat people I saw.  A lot of them kids and teenagers.  Mainly girls, too.

When I was a kid, there was usually only one fat kid at school; now it seems like a good third of kids are what I would consider chunky at the least.  Is this because of TV and computer games?  Because parents are scared to let their kids run around outside without supervision?  Because kids don't walk or bike to school every day?

I don't have an answer, but I suspect it's a mixture of things.  I know when I was a kid we ran around outside a lot.  We roller skated and biked and jumped rope.  We hurled ourselves off monkey bars and played all kinds of vicious ball-games in the playground.  As long as we were home for dinner, we could play anywhere in the neighborhood.

And we did....

By the creek.  In the construction sites.  Up the back of a newly developed subdivision.  At the school down the road.  And anyone's house who invited us.

Is life more dangerous for kids nowadays, or are we just more aware of the dangers?  We rode bikes without helmets.  We climbed trees.  We skateboarded without any pads or wrist-supports.  Did we hurt ourselves?  Hell, yeah.  Do kids hurt themselves now?  Of course they do.  There's always someone with their arm in a cast or stitches in their chin.  Maybe not so many though.

Kids were abused in my day.  Pedophiles and flashers did their dirty business.  Occasionally a kid would go missing and for a few days that would be front page news.  But after the scare was over, parents relaxed again and kids were allowed to roam free again.

Has the world really got that much worse?  Or are we just more frightened of the things we can't control?  And is this fear making people fat?


  1. I'm one of those fat people now! Not quite obese yet though. Life has changed. Factory and active jobs have been replaced by desk jobs. Outdoor activities replaced by TV and the computer.

    I fought my weight for years and years. I'm very happy not to anymore. Life is short and good food is one of the few real pleasures left that doesn't cost much. I'm enjoying my remaining days and don't see why people have become such worshipers of the young and the skinny. Look at all the rag mags that trash an actress if she gains a little weight. What about people's personalities, intelligence and ethics? I guess those things aren't important anymore. It's all about how you look.

    1. Yeah. Look at the majority of female musicians these days and it's all about the flat belly and nothing about whether or not they can sing or play or write songs. It makes me mad!

  2. At my daughter's school, they only have gym 2 out of the 6 days in their 6-day cycle. And her school goes up to 5th grade. I had gym every day by then. Also, I agree that when we were young, we were always playing outside. Kids now sit in front of their video games all the time.

  3. I wasn't overweight when I was working full time in an office but I had the normal pounds that most people could lose. When I left my job to stay home, I lost 14 pounds over the course of 4 months. And not because I was trying to. It was simply the change of not sitting all day, not having access to all the junk people tend to bring to an office, and preparing meals from fresh ingredients instead of prepackaged stuff. Avoiding starbucks helped too.

    1. Lifestyle changes are good for weightloss. I always find I lose weight when I start a new job. Guess that's why I'm getting so fat now, after almost 8 years in the one place.

  4. I think it's a lot of things-- all the things you mentioned, along with people just being busier. Things like taking the easy way (and less healthy way) out when preparing food, not getting kids out and moving, because tv / computer / video games are such a good babysitter for busy parents-- they make a huge difference overall.